There is an effortless way to return from any place of gambling with a small fortune. Go there first with a larger fortune, double down, cut your losses and come back with the remainder – Unknown
That quote is confusing but I think it’s meant to mean that anyone can gamble but no matter how much you gamble there is a good chance you will come away with little.
Define gambling addiction in simple terms is an obsession with thoughts of winning fortunes and a compulsion to bet repeatedly. This habit may cause you to go bankrupt over time especially if you think that the result will be different every time. In gambling, the only constant is that the house always wins, while the better tends to lose. The better does not only his wealth but also his peace and mental stability.
If you are asking yourself how to stop gambling forever, then chances are that you know you have a problem. Knowing this fact is the battle half won but there are a few more steps to take to be cured of this life-altering habit. Continue reading to know the many gambling addiction signs, how to stop gambling forever and how to get support while you recover from the effects of gambling addiction.
Gambling Addiction Signs and Symptoms
A gambling disorder can be diagnosed by understanding the signs and symptoms, and asking yourself if you display 7 or more of these gambling addiction signs.
- You are always thinking about gambling, and finding new ways to plan gambling activities.
- You are constantly finding new sources to fund your gambling hobby, which has with time become more of a part-time job!
- You are considering increasing the amounts you spend to get the initial thrill you would feel with smaller amounts
- You repeatedly quit either cold turkey or in stages, only to relapse over and over again
- You feel emotional signs of distress when you attempt to cut down on gambling habits
- You use gambling as a method to replace feelings of hopelessness, guilt, despair, or depression
- You end up spending additional money constantly in an attempt to chase your loss and at least get back the amount you lost.
- You often fib to your loved ones to cover your tracks and hide your gambling-related spending habits
- You take chances of losing your job, career prospects, and important friendships because you give gambling a higher place of importance in your life
- You often ask your friends, family members, and coworkers to bail you out of money woes as you spent your money on your gambling addiction
Can’t Stop Online Gambling? Risk Factors and Causes for Gambling
According to statistics, people who play cards and wager small amounts are less likely to develop gambling addiction symptoms. However, this statement is true if small amounts are wagered periodically and only for entertainment purposes. People who choose to gamble online, steadily wager bigger amounts, and love the thrill of gambling may develop a serious compulsive gambling addiction. This being said, there are a few known factors that can contribute to a serious gambling addiction problem.
- Age and Sex – More often than not, gambling addiction symptoms are seen in youth and middle-aged men that start placing small bets at a young age. Of late it has been noticed that women are gambling too but this habit starts later on in life and they tend to catch up speed with male gamblers quickly.
- Influence of Peers – If your peers tend to gamble, or if your family members tend to gamble, then not only by nature but by nurture as well, you may have a higher chance of gambling too.
- Personality Traits – If you are a competitive individual who also is impulsive and may be reckless while making decisions then you may have a higher risk to be hooked on gambling. If you are a workaholic and you get bored within no time then you could be prone to get into gambling quickly.
Consequences of Gambling Addiction
Financial Consequences – The financial consequences of gambling can start small, but more often than not, if the habit is not nipped in the bud, then it could lead to bankruptcy. More importantly, if you have defaulted on paying your gambling debt, then you may also have other financial issues such as repossession of your house, car, and other things you own. Finally, you may also have to make bail money if you face legal issues as a result of not being able to pay off your gambling debt.
Work and Personal Life Effects – One of the main gambling addiction signs is issues at work, and another gambling addiction symptom is problems with relationships. You may lose important jobs, and career opportunities, and drop out of college without the needed skills to find fruitful employment. You may also lose friends, family members, and loved ones who are tired of your compulsive gambling addiction. This is especially true if they cannot bail you out financially anymore.
Mental and Physical Health Complications – You may suffer from anxiety, panic attacks, depression, and suicidal thoughts if your gambling debt keeps increasing with every bet. Your health may also suffer if you cannot pay your bills, buy nourishing food, and have to constantly stress about making ends meet.
How To Stop Gambling Forever?
Behavioral Therapy – Also known as CBT or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, this tried and tested technique can help you determine the underlying causes of gambling. CBT can also teach you multiple ways to harness the power of self-control. This form of therapy can help you reduce the urge to bet and quit the habit of gambling over a period of time. Feelings and emotions of distress can also be replaced gradually with positive emotions. CBT is suitable not only for gambling addicts but also for their friends, family, and loved ones.
Prescription Medications – CBT may be paired with one or more antidepressants and mood stabilizers. This is done to help you treat any underlying issues or any additional mental instabilities that occur due to being in financial distress due to compulsive gambling addiction. Your doctor may also ask you to take narcotic antagonists to help you forever stop gambling.
Support Groups – Self-help support groups are considered as a supplemental aid and often an important one in reducing your urge to gamble. These groups may also give you motivation knowing that others have trudged through familiar troubled waters, and come out victorious. Most importantly, knowing that you are not alone, you have access to many resources and a group of well-wishers and supporters can help you regain control of your life. Gamblers Anonymous is one of the many programs that you can choose from to get additional support and resources.
Relapse Prevention – While trying to understand how to stop gambling online forever ask yourself if you are determined enough to prevent a relapse. Ask yourself if you can indeed stay away from peers who gamble and situations that may put you at risk. If you feel that you may relapse, or if you notice a relapse has occurred, then a good step is to contact your mental health sponsor immediately and without a delay. While slip-ups happen, the goal is not to be ashamed but to keep these incidents to a bare minimum.
Copping and Support Strategies To Help You Quit Gambling Forever
Have A Gambling Diary – Note down your thoughts on days when you do not feel like gambling. Also, note down your thoughts, emotions, and actions on days you wished you could gamble. Make it a point to note down the emotions and thoughts you felt on days you slipped and gambled. Finally, make it a point to note down the positive emotions you feel when you have stopped gambling for a day, or a week and read these notes when you feel the urge to gamble again.
Replace Negative Habits with Positive Activities – While trying to learn how to quit gambling forever, remember to motivate yourself to replace gambling with healthier habits. Learn the triggers that may cause you to gamble, drinking alcohol and smoking can also make you feel the urge to hold a lucky dice and roll it.
Ask For Help – Even strong people need help and at times it takes a village to cure gambling addiction. speak to your family members if you feel they need to assist you in your goal to quit gambling forever.
How To Not Gamble Your Money Away?
While coping with gambling addiction symptoms, remind yourself that your family relies on you to be the breadwinner and caretaker. Believe that you can quit successfully, practice positive affirmations, and find ways to motivate yourself to stick to the cause even if you find it impossible at first. Slowly and steadily, you can quit gambling forever, rebuild your life and even work on your finances. Stay true to yourself and remember that the only person who can help you quit gambling forever is yourself!
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Final thoughts – Gambling addiction is serious and whether it is you or a loved one with a problem there are people and organisations to help with gambling problems.
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